tv PBS News Hour PBS November 22, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
on the "newshour" tonight, we get on-the-ground reports about the state of the fragile peace, even as both sides vowed to act if the truce is violated. then, we turn to greece's financial crisis. paul solman offers an inside look at the negotiations to tackle the debt problems. >> as both knowledgeable outsiders and insiders attest, the tug-of-war between europe's borrowers and lenders continues and probably will, for years. >> sreenivasan: many americans are headed to the mall tonight after finishing thanksgiving dinner. we examine how black friday has morphed into gray thursday. jeffrey brown has another thanksgiving day story about a turn of the century photographer who documented the lives of native americans. >> he ended up being the largest traffic odyssey in american history. he ended up doing 2,200 pages of text telling life stories, diets habits, sex lives. it's documentaries of lives and nations and people and one man
did it all. >> sreenivasan: and we close with an encore look at a story about china's moves to satisfy a growing demand for meat. that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: it was a day of calm in the middle east, after eight days of punishing israeli
air strikes and hamas rocket fire. each side claimed the ceasefire was a victory, but neither was certain the truce would last. we begin with a report from alex thomson of "independent television news" in gaza. >> reporter: party on, a show of joy, relief and unity. the flags of hamas, islamci jihad and fatah. all factions are friends today, at least in public the kalashnikovs are celebratory for now but hamas was pledging to break the ceaseifre even on day one if the blockade of gaza isn't lifted. >> if the palestinian will stay and the occupation in the west bank and here under israeli, gaza under siege, i don't think there is going to be a long ceasefire. one day or in a few days, a few weeks, a few months, they're gonna break this ceasefire. by occupation he means this, areas, just one militarized crossing from gaza to israel. and israel decides what crosses-
- goods, people. it is a complete commercial strangehold on a place desperate to be a country. policemen able to show themselves on the streets without being targets for the first time in nine days. fighters, too, and so many people in gaza claim their ability to fire rockets into tel aviv and jerusalem has changed everything. we went north this morning, as did so many gazans, to areas they fled in recent days. up here in north gaza, close to the frontier with israel, people are used to the airstrikes that come, the craters that pockmark the countryside and that destroy their buildings. let's face, it's happened now every few years. so when you come here, you'll
find a sense of relief and immediate happiness, of course, but people are pretty skeptical about whether the peace will last. >> ( translated ): god willing i hope it holds but i'm 50/50. they've been breaking their promises since the prophet's day. >> reporter: mobility scooter meets hamas flag. ahmed atah lost both legs in the last israeli invasion. so, will a ceasefire become a peace? "it could," he said, "but first we need to give thanks to president morsi of egypt." across gaza, he's something of a new hero, and they're even impressed in israel. the egyptian president right now the best hope for peacekeeping here. >> egypt was able to regain it's regional role as a regional player, mediating between the israelis and the palestinians in convincing both of them to reach a ceasefire agreement.
in the city, the flags, the rallies, talking up victory. in the countryside, the hamas song is, we're going to bomb tel aviv. but away from politics, what about people, lives disrupted by all this? yesterday we filmed awad and his mum sabbah taking shelter in a school in gaza city. frightened, disorientated, a severely disabled boy caught up in all this. today, diplomacy had delivered. sabbah was at home with the family in atatrah. >> it's good that we're okay. i'm very happy i can't believe it, i'm shivering. that face, sabbah said, means he's feeling happy and safe, and with an arm's round from brother mahmoud, and no sound of an explosion.
>> sreenivasan: in israel, reserve troops began moving away from the border with gaza. many israelis were grateful a ground operation had been averted. and a day after a bomb ripped through a bus during the tel aviv rush hour, injuring 27, israel announced it had arrested a suspect, an arab israeli man with ties to hamas. i spoke with stephanie freid, a freelance journalist in tel aviv, a short time ago. stephanie, you're just back from southern israel, the region that was most affected by those rocket attacks. how are people now at 24 hours after the cease-fire? >> well, people are venturing out for the first time. i mean, i talked to people who lad been in house for eight days. people who had stayed close to their bomb shelters inside of their homes. so that was one significant change, because i've been down in the south throughout the entire week. people were out, they were shopping. it wasn't the ghost town that --
the areas down south weren't the ghost towns. i was in one specific town today it wasn't a ghost town that they had been all week. people are not as shaken. a lot of these people have been through this for years. i mean, they've been experiencing this for a number of years. so they're kind of hardened. not even kind of. they are hardened. they're shell-shocked, certainly. they were grateful, relieved, glad to be out getting their hair cut, doing their shopping, going about business, stocking up on some goods. at the same time, they were angry. they seemed very angry about the idea of a truce and the fact that a cease-fire was drawn up. so the mood was -- it's not that people were celebrating, they weren't happy, they were sort of hardened, they're resigned to this and they were angry. >> sreenivasan: have there been measurements of public opinion on how this was all handled? >> there have been and some of
the figures that came out tonight is the that 46% of israelis feel that in this conflict nobody won at all. 38% feel that benjamin netanyahu the prime minister, did a good job. 40% feel that the defense minister did a good job as well and a full 79% feel that the chief of staff -- they were pleased with his job in this campaign. the those seemed to be rather positive, of course, when people are looking at those numbers, looking ahead to next week's primaries. >> sreenivasan: so we saw a huge massive buildup of troops along the gaza border. what's happened to the israeli military now? are they withdrawing some? >> they are withdrawing some. at the same time the chief of staff has put out a statement that some will remain. we're in a cautious period right now. so while troops, yes, we were seeing them leave, we were seeing the tractors pull up and pull up the tanks and the tanks were withdrawing and so were the troops, we're getting ready to
get out. some will be left behind. again, we're in this period right now of wait-and-see, measuring the situation. schools are not going back to operating tomorrow. those kids will still be staying home from school until the south. so the army is also at the same time keeping a presence down there. we don't get numbers. they won't give us numbers but we do know that while some are leaving some will be staying behind. >> sreenivasan: all right, for most people that don't necessarily get that this is just a cooling off period or a 72-hour period where the shelling the stopped then they're supposed to resume negotiations. give us an idea of where those negotiations are supposed to start. >> well, that's a good guess on anyone's part. i spoke a political analyst this evening and he said there won't be long-term negotiations. that was his basic take on this entire situation is that four years ago there was an agreement
put into place then. he said there were dozens of clauses. he said not one was adhered to. he said there won't be any long-term negotiations in terms of realtime or anything significant in moving forward. there's not a timeline officially on that. however, the sense is that even if there would be negotiations on a long-term agreement that there's not much stock put into it, not much meaning, that this campaign was about buying time for right now and that there won't be any long-term implementation of these agreements. >> sreenivasan: stephanie, you've been talking to people all along the region. how much of that campaign that you mention and that election the next couple of weeks is playing into these events? do people on the ground see this -- some level of this as political posturing? >> well, absolutely. there were many, many people during the campaign who felt that perhaps-- and certainly on the flip side, on the other side palestinians and in fact palestinian president mahmoud abbas accused israel of creating
this campaign or going forward with the campaign to try and sabotage the u.n. bid -- the palestinian u.n. bid and also as a ploy for election -- for garnering votes for upcoming elections. for the incumbent government. the fact of the matter is, when i spoke with people on the ground today in the south, these are the constituents that would primarily vote for prime minister netanyahu and right now they're not very happy with him and many, many people said they're withdrawing their vote in the coming election, that they will not be voting for his likud party. they're unhappy with the fact that there was a pullback from a full-scale invasion. people living in the south who, again, have been through this situation and scenario for years and years wanted to see a ground invasion. they wanted -- they said they wanted to see -- some people said they wanted to see gaza flattened. they said they wanted to seeed
things taken to the end. they weren't certain what that meant. when pushed to the wall, what does that mean, taking this situation to the end? they weren't really certain really what that meant. but, again, this could be something that politically may not work in the prime minister's favor coming into this election. >> sreenivasan: all right, stephanie fried from tel aviv, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. online we've updated our slideshow of images from the middle east. still to come on the "newshour": the economic troubles in greece; the shopping frenzy in the u.s. a day early; the lives of native americans and the demand for meat in china. but first, the other news of the day. in syria, rebel fighters gained more momentum in the east today. they seized a key army base at mayadeen and took control of its artillery stockpiles. to the north, syrian government warplanes flattened a building next to a hospital in aleppo overnight. at least 15 people were killed. the airstrikes damaged one of the last remaining sources of medical aid for civilians there. a taliban suicide bomber killed
23 people in a procession of shi-ite muslims in pakistan. the attack happened near midnight when the bomber tried to join a religious gathering in rawalpindi. at least 62 people were wounded, including six policemen. this is the latest in a string of bombings targeting shi-ites during their holiest month of the year. the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. defended her first account of the attack on the consulate in benghazi, libya. susan rice has come under fire by critics who say she gave misleading information about the nature of the attack and the motive behind it. but at the u.n. in new york last night she said that was not the case. >> when discussing the attacks against our facilities in benghazi i relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community. i made clear that the information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers. >> sreenivasan: the benghazi attack killed u.s. ambassador chris stevens and three other americans. britain announced today it is
rethinking aid distribution to rwanda after a report from the u.n. shows the african nation is backing a brutal rebel movement in neighboring congo. we have a report narrated by lindsey hilsum of "independent television news." >> reporter: as refugees rush out, the rebels rush in. m23 fighters hurtled into sarko today to fight congolese government forces which had taken back control of the town. people flee as they fled so many times before. 25 different rebel groups operate in the area, all of them and the regular army abuse civilians. terror is never far away. it's become a way of life. >> congo is a place where you kind of negotiate how much you want to be abused. what people fear mostly is when control keeps on shifting. that is why this year is such a dramatic low in the protection of civilians, cause there's a constant shift of armed groups
in control by the army, so >> reporter: in uganda yesterday, three regional leaders met to discuss the crisis, including president paul kagame of rwanda. a u.n. report details evidence of rwandan backing for the m23, something he's denied, his words somewhat delphic. aid agencies say 120,000 people are now on the run. under pressure, the british government has changed policy towards one of its closest allies and biggest aid recipients in africa. today they said the u.n. evidence of rwandan involvement with the rebels was credible and compelling. and would be a key factor in future aid decisions to the government of rwanda. today the m23 rebels were on patrol in the regional capital goma. the people watched and waited. the rebels have been gathering weapons there by fleeing government soldiers. rwanda has security concerns and economic interests in this part
of congo. by taking goma, their proxies have ensured that the rwandans will negotiate for a position of strength. the withdrawal of british support, a price they may feel worth paying. >> sreenivasan: the u.n. children's agency says the violence in eastern congo has already forced 100,000 people to flee, more than half of whom are children. americans at home and abroad celebrated the thanksgiving holiday today. president obama-- in a weekly address-- urged the country to put aside partisan differences and unite. in new york, the annual macy's thanksgiving day parade wound its way through the streets of manhattan, as the area still copes from the aftermath of hurricane sandy. elsewhere, volunteers served thanksgiving meals to needy families at homeless shelters across the country, like this one in washington, d.c. turkey and all the trimmings were also served to u.s. troops overseas at bases in afghanistan and kuwait. the british broadcasting corporation appointed a new director-general in the wake of
its worst crisis in years. tony hall-- a former bbc news executive and currently the head of the royal opera house-- will replace george entwistle. entwistle resigned from the post earlier this month, amid a controversy stemming from the bbc's coverage of child sex abuse. >> sreenivasan: next, reducing greece's big debt. the troubled country appears to be on track to get some much- needed aid next week. but european union leaders meeting at a summit this week are still unable to agree on how to cut greece's debt to a more sustainable level. "newshour" economics correspondent paul solman has a behind the scenes look at the efforts to do so. it's part of his ongoing reporting on "making sense of financial news." >> reporter: is the euro-crisis resolved? the message from europe's financial markets over the past few months has been mostly positive.
and this month greece passed a tough austerity bill, despite widespread street protests. the credit for europe moving ahead has gone to european central bank head mario draghi, who pledged in july that his e.c.b. would buy the debt of distressed borrowing countries to keep their interest rates down, keep them solvent. investors worldwide now call him super mario, after the nintendo video game superhero. >> reporter: but in fact, as both knowledgeable outsiders and insiders attest, the tug-of-war between europe's borrowers and lenders continues and probably will, for years. just look at the images of outsiders like foreign cartoonists, for example. their picture of super mario's newfound powers is a lot more down to earth. that's because draghi faces steep opposition to his vow to impose super-tough terms for his bond buying plan: more austerity in the form of tax hikes,
government pay and pension cuts and the like to be overseen by his bank and the international monetary fund. for all the public reassurances, new austerity conditions have sparked bitter protests. in spain. in greece, twice bailed out already and yet again pleading for more slack. this protest was prompted by an october visit from german prime minister angela merkel, who many greeks blame for the painful cuts they've already endured. but, back at home, merkel must contend with an anti-bailout public in germany a germany which must ultimately approve any europe-wide debt relief program, since it funds about a quarter of the european central bank. but germany has no choice. it has to keep playing the game.
or at least that's the conviction of a key insider, new york lawyer lee buchheit. >> as the french say: for want of better, and for fear of worse. >> reporter: buchheit is mr. insider-- greece's chief debt negotiator. he's managed the country's bargaining strategy these past pinched years: and is the go-to guy for many a nation being muscled by its lenders. >> no one likes to lose money. any creditor approached by a sovereign with a request for debt relief would accede to it only if they thought that by not giving the debt relief they stand to lose more. >> reporter: and your job is to convince the creditors that the borrowers can't afford to pay more. >> yes. >> reporter: so when you're advising a country, what are you telling officials who are negotiating with their creditors? >> to convince its creditors first that it needs a restructuring, and second that the terms of the restructuring
are what they need, not necessarily what they want. >> reporter: let's pause for a moment to explain, with a little help from our friends the cartoonists: restructuring is just a way of saying, reduce the amount a squeezed country owes, forcing lenders, generally bondholders, to take what's euphemistically known as a haircut a reduction in the amount that's due them. for professional investors, though, the visit to the barber can be rather more drastic. but how else can a debt-drowning country stay afloat, buchheit asks. >> you try to return the debt stock to the point that a neutral observer in the market would say: ruritania is now creditworthy again. >> reporter: ruritania being your... >> mythical country. >> reporter: attorney buchheit is nothing if not careful. but for all his elusive talk of ruritania, his real client is greece. in the past year, greece has not just been weighed down by fat- cat lenders, but by pan-national
parties like the european union and its central bank. they've given money to greece to maintain the interest payments on its private debt, becoming not just the lender of last resort, but of life support. >> any time in a corporate or sovereign context that you have a new party coming in saying i'm financing the debtor, or i'm prepared to put in the new money, they have the whip hand. and we nor the creditors can ignore their views. >> reporter: those views were that greece should never restructure its loans. >> as they saw it, sovereign debt restructuring was a unique affliction of emerging markets. you could not have the restructuring of a european sovereign without declaring yourself to be an emerging market. >> reporter: and that would be a real stigma. >> that would be as they saw it, an indelible stain. and therefore their insistence
was, avoid a debt restructuring at all costs, even if it means that in effect european taxpayers must lend the debtor country the money to repay all of its debt in full. >> reporter: the problem with this approach: the longer greece put off paying the debts incurred by its supposedly olympian lifestyle, the greater the pressure on all its creditors. >> what happened in greece was in may of 2010, they started with a bailout program that gave greece all of the money it needed to repay all of its existing creditors. i understood the psychology of it but at some point the psychology must give way to arithmetic. the liability didn't go away, it simply migrated out of the hands of commercial creditors and into the hands of the official creditors, when the axe falls, it will fall on the taxpayer's neck. >> reporter: something the cartoonists, this one from fiscally conservative holland, will never let the lenders
forget. >> 18 months later, they realized what they were doing, and at that point they careened from saying you must repay all of your creditors in full and on time, to saying you must impose at least a 50% nominal haircut on your creditors. >> reporter: and so in march buchheit helped negotiate a deal that lopped off about a third of greece's total debt to keep greece in the game. private lenders were forced to take a 75% loss on the face value of their bonds. >> in general it's, the country wants to pay the least it can, and you want them to pay the most they can. >> reporter: one of greece's private creditors is investor hans humes of greylock capital. hes sat across the table from lee buchheit in many negotiations over the years. >> i guess a very nice way to put it is he's a formidable opponent. lee had a speech where he made reference to creditors' blood
running in the street. and you get a sense with him at some level he's getting a visceral thrill out of it! >> it is a bitter process. my role is simply to take the debtor's side in that dynamic. i don't expect everyone will like it! >> reporter: the major gripe against buchheit is that he got greece to actually change its laws so private creditors could no longer sue to collect if enough other creditors, like the e.c.b., also owned greek debt. could that serve as model for other countries? well, once you start changing laws, says hans humes, the sky's the limit. >> right now, we're teetering on something that's far worse than what we saw in latin america. >> reporter: in the 1980s or '90s you mean. >> yeah, i mean i lived in latin america, i saw it and i was part of the workout. this is worse. >> reporter: does lee buchheit then... >> have a lot of work? ( laughter ) >> reporter: yeah, i'm sure he has a lot of work, but does he bear a lot of the blame? >> no, no. i mean he's just reacting to the
situation that's evolving. but i think there's a lot of concern that, if you have this legal coaching on how to really gut creditor rights, that you may actually end up in a situation where nobody wants to lend to countries. >> reporter: but if that's already a clear and present danger, we wondered why not just stiff the creditors? after all the history of sovereign debt is default, default, default, default over centuries and then those same countries come back into the market sometimes in just a few years and can start borrowing again. >> excessively brutal behavior by the sovereign debtor will be remembered and subsequent administrations will pay a penalty. they will pay a higher interest rate. the other aspect though is the pain you inflict on creditors will be a matter of concern to your geopolitical partners, to
the i.m.f. and to others who have a stake in seeing the financing of sovereigns worldwide continue to go on. and so outrageous behavior as they would see it, is something that will incur their displeasure and you the sovereign debtor, are likely to hear about it. >> reporter: and so, the dance goes on. the cartoonists vision is a disastrous ending. but the euro-powers-that-be are in the business of buying time, in the belief that most debt crises end d t in a b bg, but aa whimper. >> sreenivasan: and you can find much more of paul's reporting on greece and the eurozone crisis on our website. >> sreenivasan: now, the emergence of a new thanksgiving day tradition once reserved for the day after: shopping. retailers used to wait until the wee hours of black friday to open their doors.
but big box stores and national chains are increasingly opening their doors on thanksgiving. tonight, wal-mart will open its doors to customers at 8:00 pm. that has sparked protests and online petitions. but the retailing giant is not alone. target, toys 'r' us, sears and the gap-- among others-- are all following suit and opening tonight. for more on these moves and the bigger picture, we turn to barney jopson. he's the u.s. retail correspondent for the financial times. his e-book, "the amazon economy," is out next week. thanks for being with us. >> good to be here. >> sreenivasan: so help us understand, why are these retailers doing this? why is it so important? >> this holiday season we're going to see consumers who are still pretty cautious and as a result of that retailers are just a little bit desperate. these early openings are all about trying to grab the attention of consumers as soon as they can and grab a few of those dollars because overall the holiday season it may be that the shopping pie doesn't grow that much. so these retailers want to grab their own slice as soon as they
possibly can. >> sreenivasan: so wal-mart was one of the big stores to do so. they were already opening at midnight. why push it into thanksgiving day itself? >> the competition among the retailers and i think they're inspiring each other to move it earlier and earlier because as people are going to be queuing up perhaps they want to be outside the store that's going to open first. so this cream phenomena is has set in as retailers are trying to outdo each other. >> sreenivasan: what is the creep phenomena likely to stop at? can we get earlier and earlier, to labor day or the fourth of july to start our thanksgiving shopping? >> i think the answer will depend on the bash lash we've seen against some of these moves. there have been labor organizations that have complained that by opening early these retailers are ruining the thanksgiving of some of their employees. and i think some consumers themselves have some sympathy with that idea. it's worth remembering that according to some surveys only about 13% of shoppers are going to be out before midnight on thanks giving so there are a lot of others who will be at home
relaxing on the sofa digesting their turkey and they may feel it's only fair to let retail employees do the same. >> sreenivasan: i know there are some protests scheduled for tomorrow. what are they hoping to accomplish if it's such a small crowd or i should say a small section of the retail audience that they're going to reach? >> i think they're just trying to draw attention to the impact of the early openings on some of the employees and perhaps draw attention to other issues that they have with labor and pay some of these retail organizations. >> sreenivasan: it should be said that some of this online frenzy began not just today or tomorrow morning but really early on in this week. it's kind of making cyber monday obsolete. >> well, absolutely. one of the great movers is amazon. amazon is a very powerful online player. it's known as the great disruptor. it disrupts and up turned most of the industries it works in. that's the subject of the book we've done and we've seen it this week. some people are complaining
about wal-mart opening a few hours early. amazon has started its own black friday deals on monday so it started days ahead of everyone else and that is something that's going to disrupt the dynamic of the week. a lot of shoppers are increasingly preferring to buy online. it's more convenient, it's easier. amazon has started its own deals on monday so one crucial thing to watch this year is how much it is taking market share away from some of these traditional players. >> sreenivasan: what are these traditional players doing to push back? what are big box retailers doing besides moving the start date up to tonight? >> one of the things they're doing is trying to match amazon's prices. for the first time this year best buy and target have said on certain products they will match the lowest prices amazon can offer and that's an attempt to combat a phenomena called show rooming. this is what happens when people walk into a bricks and mortar store, they find the product they like, they see the price, pull out their smart phone, find it more cheaply online and buy it online right there and then.
that drives these bricks and mortar stores crazy so best buy and targeting are saying this year we'll match those prices. that's a risky decision, it's a bit of a gamble, it could reduce their own profit so we'll have to see just how eager consumers are to play these retailers off against each other. >> sreenivasan: let's put that profit into perspective. part of the reason this is called black friday is this is when retailers make the turn. how crucial is this portion of the year for them? >> well, by some estimates, the sales that they make on the black friday weekend can be about 15% or 20% of all their sales in november and november and december combined can be up to a quarter, maybe even more of the entire sales for the whole year. so this is why it's so crucial. this is why, as i say, some retailers are just a little bit desperate and why i think competition this year is going to be more intense than ever. >> sreenivasan: retailers can be a pretty good barometer of consumer spending and all of the stores that you've spoken to and your reporting, are they expecting a big year?
>> i think expectations are slightly more measured than they were last year. last year was a big year. sales grew by almost 6% from the previous year. this year people are expecting to see growth but not quite that level. and that's interesting because the housing market, the stock market, the labor market are all looking slightly better than they did a few months ago. but all this talk about the fiscal cliff, the automatic tax riders and spending cuts are unnerving people a little bit. and also we don't know how much people have been biging into their savings earlier in the year. so in spite of positive economic news, people are still going to be cautious and that's going to mean a little bit of growth but not a huge amount. >> sreenivasan: barney jopson of the financial times, thanks for your time. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: thanksgiving is a time to remember native american life and culture. and that was the life's work of edward curtis, a turn of the century photographer. his story is told in a new
biography, "short nights of the shadow catcher" by journalist and author timothy egan, a previous winner of both the pulitzer prize and national book award. jeffrey brown has our book conversation. >> brown: in 1896 edward curtis took this photograph of a woman known as "princess angeline," the last surviving child of the native-american chief for whom the city of seattle was named. it was the first in what would become a decades-long project. one of the most ambitious in american book and documentary history of capturing a vanishing native-american life and some of its most important figures, including chief joseph of the nez perce and the apache warrior geronimo. author timothy egan joins me now. welcome to you. >> thank you, great to be here. >> brown: i think a lot of people will know some of the famous paragraphs, but not the scope of the project. give us a sense of how big this was, what he was after. >> i think a lot of people know something about curtis. but he ended up being the
largest traffic odyssey in american history, more than matthew brady, the civil war photographer. he started out wanting to do native american life that was still somewhat intact. he thought it might take him five years. it took him more than 30. he took 40,000 photographs and took them on glass plate negatives, 14 x 17 inch plates that he carried around in his pack and on horse back. he reported more than 10,000 native songs. he ended up doing 2,200 pages of text telling life stories, mythologies, diets, habits, sex lives. it's documentaries of lives and nations and people and one man did it all. >> brown: he had this sense that it is of a vanishing history, right? where did that come from, though? where did the passion come from? >> the vanishing point was the census just counted 235,000 native freedom a high of perhaps 20 million at the time of european contact. so they're gone by more than 990% and the conventional wisdom of the scholars and indian experts is they'll be gone
within a lifetime. he starts out as this prominent photographer. he has a great life. teddy roosevelt hires him to shoot his daughter's wedding. >> brown: a portrait photographer. >> he could have been annie liebovitz, which is what he was. and he sees it initially as a commodity, they're disappearing, he can make money off them. but as time goes on and the project engulfs him, consumes him, becomes his whole passion, he sees something more and becomes outraged. for example, it's against the law for them to practice many of their religious rituals he's trying to photograph. he is sort of an accomplice to the a crime. the indian crimes code act is passed making many ceremonies illegal. >> brown: you describe extraordinary adventures he went through because, of course, for good reason the native americans didn't want outsiders -- they didn't trust outsiders, right? so it's not as though he could just walk in and take photographs. >> he never did that. they threw dirt at his camera. they charged him with horses.
he initially was not accepted at all. but he always had native people on the payroll and he would spend months and even years setting up a single portrait, winning trust, confidence, trying to understand context. why do you wear your hair this way? why is that bead like that? >> brown: i'm thinking of some that you described were the apaches where he went for months and months. >> tried to understand them internally. >> brown: this is such a big project, it required a lot of money, required a lot of resources. >> right. >> brown: he went to prominent folks, he went to president roosevelt, he went to j.p. morgan. >> roosevelt was his mentor because when roosevelt saw the scope of the project, he's setting aside land for national parks but not setting aside this vision for the people. roosevelt writes the introduction to it. but he has as many as 30 people working for him at one time. translators, technicians, advanced folks, a lot of native people on his staff. it cost a ton of money, he's pleading funds. it's killing him. his portrait business is not keeping up so he does end up in j.p. morgan's wall street
office, the richest banker in the united states, trying to convince them to fund the project. >> brown: pick one iconic one. of course there's chief joseph. you describe him coming to seattle and there's a football game, of all things, involved. >> they bring one of the most famous indians in america, n 1903, chief joseph of the nez perce who's known worldwide as the indian of napoleon to witness the university of washington football game and they asked him later what he thought and he said -- he said through a translator, he says "i saw a lot of white people almost fight each other today. i do not think that is good." but joseph was a prisoner of war at the time. he could not leave the reservation. same with geronimo, without president roosevelt's permission. this is 25 years after the war. curtis understood that what joseph wanted was his homeland back so at the end of that weekend where they're parading this indian around at the football game, look at the indian at the football game, look at the clash of cultures, they take him up the street with
a car, curtis shoots one of his most famous portraits and it does what he wanted to do, which is make these people live forever. >> brown: speaking of what he wanted to do-- because this is another interesting dimension-- is the sort of -- i don't know, it could be an accusation that he's more of a myth maker than a documentarian, at least the way we think of them. >> correct. and there's a raging argument over that, there still is. >> brown: he was posing people in garb they might not be -- >> i disagree. he never said he didn't pose people. he always said in interviews if you read the "new york times" going accounts, he'd come to washington, the "washington post" would say "famous indian photographer in town to meet with president and members of the senate." he always said he posed people. he paid people for posing. he asked them what they wanted to wear in their portrait. i think accusation about the posing came later on from people who didn't understand what he was doing. yes, he was a documentarian. it's no different than you or i going to scotland and saying "do you have the kilt your grandfather wore?" and asking the third generation
person to wear the kilt. what he was doing was breaking the stereotypes. indians were one dimensional. they were even either noble savages or dimestore indians. he saw them as human beings and that's what native people today see in his pictures. >> brown: you talk about him coming to washington or new york a nationally famous figure and yet died penniless, relatively unknown, almost alone. >> he had lost his copyright to the house of morgan because the deeper they got into him the more he gave up. so when he finishes his masterpiece, the greatest traffic odyssey in american history, arguably the greatest masterpiece, he's lost it all. doesn't make a dime off of it. today those individual sets will go for up to $2 million in auction. the other thing is, no one appreciate what is he's done. he gets a 77-word obituary in the "new york times" that doesn't mention his --. >> brown: this is 1952. >> at the age of 84. he's living alone in a tiny apartment in beverly hills.
he hates it. >> brown: it's about 20 years later in the '70s where the boom begins again. there are people rediscovering what he's done. >> it's an amazing epilogue because morgan buys -- owns everything. they sell it to a boston book seller for a thousand bucks. it sits in the basement, treasures of this boston store for almost 40 years. they rediscover hit in the '70s and start to be distributed widely. that's why you see curtis pictures everywhere now. even the "new york times" sells curtis pictures right now. (laughs) >> brown: all right. the book is "short nights of thed that doe catcher, the epic life and immortal photographs of edward curtis." timothy egan, thanks so much. >> thanks for having me, jeff. >> sreenivasan: you can see more of edward curtis's photographs online. we've linked to a collection at northwestern university that includes the entire 20-volumes called "north american indian." >> sreenivasan: and finally tonight, on this day when americans gather to break bread together. we take a second look at a food story far from the u.s.
china's growing appetite for meat and dairy products is driving big changes there in everything from farming to food safety. our story is part of our "food for 9 billion" series, a "newshour" partnership with the center for investigative reporting, homelands productions and american public media's "marketplace." it's reported by mary kay magstad, china correspondent for p.r.i.'s "the world." >> reporter: china's people are on the move. from the countryside to the city, hundreds of millions are coming in search of a better life, in the biggest migration in human history. more than half of chinas 1.3 billion people now live in cities. in 20 years, it may be two- thirds. as china's economy has grown, it has transformed lives and diets. and that's especially true, when it comes to meat.
this is ms. xiong, a beijing meat seller. she grew up in a village in one of china's poorest provinces. >> when i was young, my family could only afford to have pork once or twice a year. we were poor, and our clothes were covered with patches. >> reporter: she says things got better when the family started raising pigs, instead of just working in the fields. over the past 30 years, meat consumption per capita has quadrupled, and city-dwellers eat twice as much meat, on average as those back in the countryside. pork reigns supreme. china both produces and consumes about half the world's pork. and that increase isn't just about appetite, it's about aspiration, says cornell university's mindi schneider. >> now that many people who have the income to do so can buy meat everyday if they want to, there's this idea that they're
eating meat in revenge and its revenge against a past of sort of poverty and scarcity and what felt like struggle, and it symbolizes progression. >> reporter: but this is creating a huge challenge for the chinese government. china has almost a fifth of the world's population. but it has just 9% of the earth's arable land, and a chronic shortage of water. both are needed to raise and feed livestock. so, how to provide so much meat and dairy to so many people? one answer: modernize. these cows, at china modern dairy, get music piped in while they get milked on carousels. this year, as many as 100,000 cows will be shipped to china from australia, new zealand and uruguay and packed into facilities like this.
and these pigs live snout by jowl in enclosed buildings, where visitors are only permitted to view them remotely to prevent the spreading of disease. they belong to the chuying company, a major player in china's industrialized farming boom. chuying's vice president is wu yide. >> ( translated ): this large- scale way of raising livestock is becoming the world standard. in order for china to raise our standards and meet demand, our entire system needs to be upgraded. it's inevitable. >> reporter: and one of the governments top priorities is ensuring it can meet that demand, says jim harkness, head of the institute of agriculture and trade policy in minneapolis. >> in america, we have our strategic petroleum reserve. china actually has a strategic pork reserve. i was there once when they sort of calls out release the pigs! they released a tremendous
amount of pork onto the market because the government was concerned about prices going up. >> reporter: drought, disease and rising feed prices have periodically sent pork prices in china soaring. rising prices can drive inflation, and inflation can lead to discontent. but keeping those pigs fed can come at a steep environmental cost. sun jing's family has farmed here on the northern china plain for generations. in his own lifetime, he says, he's seen the water table plummet. >> the water level is getting lower and lower. 300 meters? you won't find water! we have to dig deeper and deeper, up to 500 meters. >> reporter: five hundred meters deep, that's more than 1600 feet. because of its widespread shortage of water, china now imports 70% of its soybeans and increasing amounts of its corn,
from the united states, brazil and argentina. intensified farming is also causing other water problems. >> agriculture is the number one water polluter in china and part of that is from fertilizer and pesticide runoff from crop fields but the number one source of water pollution in china today is manure. and that's coming from all of these industrial livestock production systems. >> reporter: manure releases nitrogen and phosphorus into waterways and causes toxic blue- green algae blooms. blooms like this one on anhui provinces chao lake, china's fifth largest. fisherman miao lingshen says his profits, and the number of fish in an average catch, have dropped by half since the algae started to appear on the lake each summer. >> ( translated ): if it gets any worse, well need to ask the government to give us money, because we wont be able to make
enough money to live. >> reporter: miao says he might have to sell his boat, and become a migrant worker, something he doesn't want to do. >> ( translated ): of course not! my home is here; my family is here. why would i want to leave? >> reporter: perhaps to get safe drinking water. miao says every fishing boat here has a kit to treat the water, so fishermen can drink it. even then, it stinks. >> ( translated ): and if the water touches your skin, it burns you. i'm not joking here. you immediately get a rash, and an infection. >> reporter: across china, people are feeling the effects of the rapid ramping up of food production. a wave of food safety scandals drove shanghai resident wu heng to start a food safety blog early this year, when he was still a graduate student. within months, his blog was getting five million hits a day.
>> ( translated ): i created a map that shows the intensity and number of scandals by color. those places with a higher number of food scandals are marked with red, and those with a lower number are marked in blue. >> reporter: over here we have a butcher. so what would you worry about when buying meat here? >> ( translated ): if you want to buy pork here, you have to make sure they haven't put an additive in the feed called clenbuterol. clenbuterol makes the pork leaner, and lean pork can be sold for higher prices. >> reporter: clenbuterol can cause heart attacks in humans, and has been at the center of one major food scandal here. another was when middlemen watered down milk, and added a toxic chemical called melamine, to help pass protein tests. that made 300,000 people sick, and killed infants. wu heng says his government can and must do better to protect
consumers and he acknowledges, the government now seems to be trying, and is open to learning from the u.s. experience. the u.s. food and drug administration now has an office in beijing, and has done training for hundreds of chinese companies, government inspectors and officials. blogs and other social media have helped push food safety issues front and center, says fda representative chris hickey. >> i think the blogosphere is one of the freest forms of speech in china. having public attention paid to this issue is vitally important, i think, for any country, if it wants to have a truly world- class system for food safety. >> reporter: the chinese government now has 11 overlapping and overstretched agencies, monitoring hundreds of thousands of food companies. the f.d.a. says the government is relying too heavily on inspections, and needs to focus
more on prevention. chinese fed up with waiting for that to happen have started to find other ways to access safer food like, buy imported, processed food, opening the market for companies like hormel or buy organic... organic produce, even organic pigs. pig farmer wan xi qing says his pigs get room to roam and special feed. he says it costs more to raise organic pigs, but it's worth it, because their pork goes at a premium. and who buys that pork? >> ( translated ): very rich people in beijing. like members of private clubs, retired professors, military and government officials. mainly people with high disposable incomes. >> reporter: so there are
boutique organic pigs for the elites. industrially raised pigs for the masses and a lingering question, of what's the best way forward to feed chinas changing appetite, safely and sustainably. jim harkness has some ideas. >> you've had an overall economic model that has focused on keeping worker's wages down and keeping farmer's incomes down. i think if you had better wages for workers, allowing them then to pay for better quality food, you'd see the investments that are needed starting to flow into agriculture so that you could grow food that's grown in ways that are more sustainable environmentally. >> reporter: the yellow river lies at the heart of china's most fertile region. time and again, it has seen china's farmers rise to the challenge of feeding ever more people. but never before have so many chinese people eaten so well, and been so vocal in demanding
both safe, affordable food, and an environment worth living in. china's leaders will need to show creativity, and balance to meet those demands. the chinese people are watching to see that they do. >> sreenivasan: and there's more online. correspondent mary kay magstad writes about exploding watermelons and other food safety challenges for chinese consumers in a blog post. that's on the food for 9 billion website. we also have a slide-show of images from china's burgeoning meat industry. you can find links to both on our website. >> sreenivasan: again, the major developments of the day: a cease-fire between israel and the militant group hamas appeared to hold, after more than a week of fierce fighting in gaza and israel. meanwhile, israeli officials flew to cairo to begin talks on easing a blockade in gaza. and in syria, rebel fighters gained more momentum in the east, seizing a key army base
need some conversation starters for the thanksgiving dinner table? mark shields and david brooks have you covered. find some of our analysts' best political turkey day talking points on the rundown. paul solman takes us back to another hard economic time in our history-- the winter of 1623. how did the colonists pull out of a near-collapse? plus, look ahead with judy woodruff, who highlights what's in store for congress in the lame duck session after the holiday. all that and more is on our web site newshour.pbs.org. and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm hari sreenivasan. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks among others. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> computing surrounds us. sometimes it's obvious and sometimes it's very surprising in where you find it.
soon, computing intelligence in unexpected places will change our lives in truly profound ways. technology can provide customized experiences tailored to individual consumer preferences, igniting a world of possibilities from the inside out. sponsoring tomorrow, starts today. and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.